Text of a letter written in Saline County, IL April 10, 1829 from Joseph Tucker to his stepfather, William Vantrease, and Mother, "Widow Tucker", in Smith County Tennessee (from the original letter owned by Gail Dunham of Mayfield, KY. William Vantrease was her g-g-g-grandfather.) Submitted by Cameron Vantrease, email Vantrease@compuserve.com
State 0f Illinois.
Dear Farther and Mother.
I embrace this opportunity of writing to you that we all well at present and hoping that these few lines will find you in the same state of health and we have landed safely in this state about 5 miles west from the Saline Salt works and I like this country verry well.
It tis verry hard times now but it will be a heap better against next fall. Corne cant be had for lesse thin 50 cents per bushel and salt is 50 cents per bushel and pork is $1.50 per hundred and game is very plenty here and I dont want none of you to be troubled about me for I intend to come in next fall if I am alive and well. I am very sorry that I left Uncle Thomas Vantrease in distress. But if I would to stay there and people a pushed for their pay and put me in jail and I have my washing at kirks and I am at work at salt work at $10 a month in cash. A cuting award and when month thirt is out I am a going to tine on the salt kittle at fifteen dollars a month and direct your letters to Shawnee town post office and here is my best regards to you all and mister kirk[CV1] and misses Ebilene Bradley want you to have this letter read to Thomas Morrow and his wife and she wants you to take care of a potrac(? ) that was left out their and she wants you to keep the wheel that you have got of mine and fetch it out to ther state when you come and we have landed safely in this state about 5 miles north of the saline salt works amd we are all well at present and we have got a good house and home and I like this country very much and it tis a good country for a poore man to live in and dear is so plenty that they comes in their houses and people can take salt and sprinkle oil their tales and ketch them.
no more tell Doth April. 10, 1829.
Joseph Tucker and Mr. Bradley.